It’s with great excitement that I share the good news … thanks to your generosity, our pipe organ completion campaign has been a success! Williamsburg Presbyterian Church has signed a contract with our builder, Buzard Pipe Organ Builders, to construct and install the missing pipes, fulfilling the instrument’s original design. Thank you!
What does this mean? Perhaps it’s best to review the current state of our pipe organ. Make no mistake, ours is a magnificent instrument. It plays a leadership role in our weekly worship services, teaching hymns, inspiring prayers, and prompting smiles. During its construction, the church asked Buzard to limit its installation, leaving 447 pipes to be installed at a later date.
It’s important to note that these missing pipes are not particularly loud, and upon its completion, our organ will not be noticeably louder. Instead, they provide softer colors, some of which will find particular use during preludes and while accompanying the Chancel Choir.
It’s very rare for an incomplete organ to find its completion. After all, isn’t our organ wonderful now? Well, yes! But the missing pipes, grouped into five stops (akin to instruments in an orchestra) play a vital role. Since the completion of our sanctuary, WPC organists have worked around the missing voices. Compromises have been made, shortcuts found. It’s not unlike opening a 48-pack of crayons, only to find five are missing.
In addition to installing the missing pipes, Buzard will conduct necessary maintenance to ensure that our organ continues to lead music with confidence and beauty. This includes a thorough cleaning, touch-up maintenance to specific pipes, and the replacement of a noisy mechanical system.
To those who have supported this campaign, thank you. To those who appreciate the efforts of the Music Ministry, thank you. To those who are excited to see this project to its completion, thank you.
Now that we have raised the necessary funds, what next? Well, now we wait. Alas, organ pipes do not grow on trees. Each instrument is unique, and every pipe is made to order. Our builder has agreed to complete this project as soon as possible, but both he and his suppliers have previous commitments. The pipes, built in Germany, have been ordered. Construction will begin this summer, and they will be shipped to Buzard’s workshop in Illinois later this year. There, they will continue to be refined, to ensure they sound harmonious both with each other, and with our existing pipes. Work here in Williamsburg cannot be scheduled during the busy seasons of Advent and Lent. We expect that Buzard will deliver and install the pipes in the spring of 2019.
The installation and maintenance process should take six to eight weeks, during which time our organ will remain usable during worship services. We will work with the firm to schedule weddings and memorial services appropriately.
This is indeed an exciting time, and I will provide regular updates as our pipes are built, voiced, and installed. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask myself or Rob Brown.
Again, thank you.
Contact Rob Brown (757-564-7226), Project Coordinator
OR Norman Elton (757-645-4596), Organist